A remarkably good Spy Story from PBS / Masterpiece.
The IMDB doesn’t say much. Then again, for a Spy Mystery you really don’t want to say much or you are spewing spoilers…
A British intelligence analyst with MI5 has to work out why the PM had his best boss and best friend killed.
It leaves so much important laying on the ground… First off, this is a series of 3 movies. The “blurb” under the title on Amazon says:
David Hare’s thrilling spy trilogy exposes the battles raging inside the intelligence community in the name of security. The Worricker stories include: Page Eight; Salting the Battlefield; and Turks Caicos.
Not a whole lot better, but you begin to get the sense of it.
First off, this is a British Story with British Actors. It starts off so low key and slow most Americans will have fallen asleep or gone for coffee. But, to quote someone… KBO.. “Keep Buggering On” and it picks up speed. Somewhere along the line I picked up from Mum the love of a slow building mystery in the British style. Also a sensitivity to the low key way a raised eyebrow, nod (or lack of a nod), and even a terse “I see.” can carry more than a paragraph. This is in that style. Not to be watched with senses chemically dulled, nor when multitasking with the phone or tablet. Put them down and pay attention. Those dry details in passing are going to matter later. Keep track of Colonel Mustard is hiding!
The story manages to mix a realistic romance (with issues…) along with the kinds of twists and turns any real life spy drama is likely to have. Guessing which side who is on? How about guessing which side YOU are on in what you are doing… Of course, there are several twists, turns and plot reversals. Wouldn’t be right without them. There are shifting allegiances, entrapments, “turned” agents, and more.
What make it special for me? Aside from just a much more realistic portrayal of spycraft, the main spy is a 60 something, so a demographic I can relate to. No 30 something guy shooting up anything that moves, this is an old crafty guy working the system, even while it threatens to kill him. The other interesting bit is that the plot reflects some things hinted at in our news and worries… the potential for intelligence agencies to forget who is the boss and think governments are theirs to manage…
The acting is superb. So much said with just a subdued smile, a raised eyebrow, a slump or a tightening of the shoulders.
Hopefully I’ve not given away too much of the plot. Go find it. Watch it. Think about the news and nations.
I found it on Amazon (free as part of the Prime package that we only bought for shipping costs). It is likely in other places as well.